|Posted by The Wolf Radio: Planet Country Radio Show on November 5, 2015 at 10:50 PM|
Concert: 17th October 2015 - Rooty Hill RSL - Review by Big Stu
There’s a saying in business “The moment the rate of change outside a business exceeds the rate of change within it, the end is near”. That might apply to the business world, but what on earth does it have to do with a concert review? The concert in question represents a moment of change within the country music industry, which to be fair, isn’t one single business, but seeing as it is a small industry in Australia, let’s look at it as one business. By the way, this is a concert review . . .
So how did the Jay Seeney Band and Jade Holland twin EP launches change the ‘business’?
Both artists reflect a new wave (no, nothing to do with that British movement in the 80’s) of artists coming in to country from different backgrounds and all musical genres. Now there may be nothing new in that, people have been making ‘different’ styles of country for some time, but not always with the support of those established in the ‘business’, or more importantly, fans of the genre. But I sense a change in the air. Music is changing – the world over. Some mourn the generication (not a word, but I claim it when it catches on) of music. A seemingly headlong burst into over commercialised sound that fits multiple genres and maximises ROI for record companies who, quite frankly must be scared stiff about making any money at all in this rapidly changing world. By the way, this is a concert review . . .
For every mourner, there are ten-fold fans, that are lapping up current music that crosses over, under, between and around multiple styles. Remember when you read what I wrote about change outside a business? That is what is happening in music. But country, as a ‘business’ has not embraced change at the rate of that which is occurring outside. So what does that mean? Is the end near? Thankfully no, and I contend that it is because of artists like The Jay Seeney Band and Jade Holland that the end is nowhere in sight. These two ‘modern country’, ‘new country’, ‘contemporary country’, call them what you like performers are taking country in a new and exciting direction. By the way, this is finally heading towards being a concert review . . .
Before we get to the concert, and we will get there; I need to address the tutt tutters, who are fans of ‘traditional country’, ‘real country’, call it what you like. No-one is suggesting the type of country that you like has to go. No-one is suggesting that artists who play that music have to change. My synopsis of the country music ‘business’ is predicated on the belief that for the business to remain viable, it must embrace new and alternate markets. There will always be a space for traditional country, but there must be space for new country, otherwise the business fails. Think about it. How many festivals (that include all types of country) would cease to exist if ‘new country’ was not embraced. How many radio stations would be viable with only traditional country to play? And here’s the kicker, how many new fans would be turned on to country, if ‘new country’ didn’t exist?
By the way, we’re nearly at the concert review bit . . .
So, now that I’ve established the importance of this new and exciting direction for country music, why are The Jay Seeney Band and Jade Holland so important to it’s success? It’s very simple. Any other form of music’s loss, is country’s gain. Jay Seeney is a guitar virtuoso who could have been a Rock God in the hard rock world. The fact that he identifies with country and wants to bring his rock sensibilities (is that an oxymoron) to the genre should be applauded. Jade Holland grew up listening to Metallica and Alanis Morissette with her parents before discovering country. How fortunate we are that she did. The point here is that these two musicians have embraced country and we need to be sure that country embraces them. I only say this because not too long ago I witnessed some country artists virtually hounded out of the genre for being ‘too rocky’. What a load of . . .
OK, so here is the concert review. Awesome.
You expected more . . . all right then. This show had been highly anticipated for several of us Jay Seeney fanatics, but we wondered how it would work with Jade Holland. Who would get top billing? That issue was solved by having one almighty show with both artists on stage and rocking out to each-others music. The members of The Jay Seeney Band played all the music backing both artists and there was a sense that this was just one big band. I’m not sure if there are tour plans for both to support their respective albums, but it would make so much sense to tour as they played at the launch.
So you read all the way through to get to a few sentences about the concert and you waited weeks to read it. What gives? Well the wait was because I wanted to see how the fans at the Sydney Country Music festival reacted to the Jay Seeney Band. The answer is they welcomed them. The crowd wasn’t huge but there was a mix of older traditional country fans and younger new country fans and they all seemed to get on. If only the social media world was as well behaved as the fans at the festival.
I read some very nasty dribble on social media overnight about new country, relating to the CMA Awards in America. It seems the defenders of traditional country have been gloating about Chris Stapleton winning several awards over some new country artists. Maybe labelling them defenders of traditional country is a little kind, seeing as one of the pages is named “We hate pop country”. Memes have appeared declaring the death of new country and hail Stapleton as digging Florida Georgia Line’s grave. Look, I get it. You like traditional country, but do you really have to poor hate on others? I have attempted to use rationale in this article to state my position about new country and the new artists such as the Jay Seeney Band and Jade Holland. I really wouldn’t like to revert to name calling. Can’t we all just get along?
BTW, final score at the CMA’s:
New country: 8
Traditional country: 3